Travel / Landscape

Ioannina (Ιωάννινα)


Ioannina, also known as Giannena (Ιωάννινα or Γιάννενα in Greek) is one of the most beautifull cities in Greece (text from Wikipedia)

I had the pleasure to return to Ioannina after 2010, and stay for about 4 days due to business reasons. In this context, and as I always try to explore any opportunity for photoshooting, especially during my travels, I had (suprise suprise) a Fuji with me, this time not my beloved XT10, that was for repair works, but a borrowed XPRO1 with the 18-55 kit lens. With this kit, I managed to shoot some shots mainly early morning or in the evening before the sunset. You can see some pictures in this portfolio, and discover the beauty of the city and the surrounding landscapes (which are simply amazing).

Hope you like it!

Regards,

Ioannina (Greek: Ιωάννινα), often called Yannena (Γιάννενα) within Greece, is the capital and largest city of the Ioannina regional unit and of Epirus, an administrative region in north-western Greece. Its population is 112,486, according to 2011 census. It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 metres (1,640 feet) above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis (Παμβώτις). Ioannina is located 450 km (280 mi) northwest of Athens, 290 kilometres (180 miles) southwest of Thessaloniki and 80 km (50 miles) east of the port of Igoumenitsa in the Ionian Sea.

The city’s foundation has traditionally been ascribed to the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, but modern archaeological research has uncovered evidence of Hellenistic settlements. Ioannina flourished in the late Byzantine period (13th–15th centuries). It became part of the Despotate of Epirus following the Fourth Crusade. Many wealthy Byzantine families fled there following the sack of Constantinople, and the city experienced great prosperity and considerable autonomy, despite the political turmoils. It surrendered to the Ottomans in 1430.

Between 1430 and 1868 the city was the administrative center of the Pashalik of Yanina. In the period between the 18th and 19th centuries, the city was a major center of the modern Greek Enlightenment.Ioannina was ceded to Greece in 1913 following the Balkan Wars. The city has two hospitals, the General Hospital of Ioannina “G. Hatzikosta”, and the University Hospital of Ioannina. It is also the seat of the University of Ioannina and of several departments of the Τechnological Educational Institute of Epirus, the headquarters of which are located in Arta. The city’s emblem consists of the portrait of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian crowned by a stylized depiction of the nearby ancient theater of Dodona.

 

Modern period (since 1913)
Ioannina was incorporated into the Greek state on 21 February 1913 after the Battle of Bizani in the First Balkan War. The day the city came under the control of the Greek forces, aviator Christos Adamidis, a native of the city, landed his Maurice Farman MF.7 biplane in the Town Hall square, to the adulation of an enthusiastic crowd.

After the Asia Minor Catastrophe (1922) and the subsequent population exchange, the Muslim element of the population left, and the city received Greek refugees from Asia Minor. A small Muslim community of Albanian origin continued to live in Ioannina after the exchange, which in 1940 counted 20 families and decreased to 8 individuals in 1973.

In 1940 during World War II the capture of the city became one of the major objectives of the Italian Army. Nevertheless the Greek defense in Kalpaki pushed back the invading Italians.[46] In April 1941 Ioannina was intensively bombed by the German forces even during the negotiations that led to the capitulation of the Greek army. During the subsequent Axis occupation of Greece, the city’s Jewish community was rounded up by the Germans in 1944 and mostly perished in the concentration camps.

The University of Ioannina was funded in 1970; until then, higher education faculties in the city had been part of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Isle of Lake Pamvotis

One of the most notable attractions of Ioannina is the inhabited island of Lake Pamvotis which is simply referred to as Island of Ioannina. The island is a short ferry trip from the mainland and can be reached on small motorboats running on varying frequencies depending on the season. The monastery of St Panteleimon, where Ali Pasha spent his last days waiting for a pardon from the Sultan, is now a museum housing everyday artefacts and relics of his period. There are six monasteries on the island: the monastery of St Nicholas (Ntiliou) or Strategopoulou (11th century), the Monastery of St Nicholas (Spanou) or Philanthropinon (1292), St John the Baptist (1506), Eleousis (1570), St Panteleimon (17th century), and of the Transfiguration of Christ (1851). The monasteries of Strategopoulou and Philanthropinon also functioned as colleges. Alexios Spanos, the monks Proklos and Comnenos, and the Apsarades brothers Theophanis and Nektarios are among those that taught there. The school continued its activities until 1758, when it was superseded by the newer collegial institutions within the city. The island’ s winding streets are also home to many gift-shops, tavernas, churches and bakeries.

Ioannina Castle

Located at the south-eastern edge of the town, on a rocky peninsula of Lake Pamvotis, the castle was the administrative heart of the Despotate of Epirus, and the Ottoman vilayet. The castle was in constant use until the late Ottoman period and the fortifications underwent several modifications throughout the centuries. The most extensive alterations where conducted during the rule of Ali Pasha and were completed in 1815. Several monuments such as the Byzantine baths, the Ottoman baths, the Ottoman library, and the Soufari Sarai are located within the castle’ s walls. There are two citadels in the castle. The south-eastern citadel, which bears the name Its Kale (Ιτς Καλέ, from Turkish Iç Kale, “inner fortress”) is where the Fethiye Mosque, the tomb of Ali Pasha, and the Byzantine Museum are located. The north-eastern citadel is dominated by the Aslan Pasha mosque and also contains a few other monuments dating from the Ottoman period. The old Jewish Synagogue of Ioannina is located within the walls of the castle and is one of the oldest and largest buildings of its type surviving in Greece.

The city

Several religious and secular monuments survive from the Ottoman period. In addition to the two mosques surviving within the walls of the castle, two further mosques are preserved outside the walls. The Mosque and Madrassa of Veli Pasha are located in a central location of the city, and Kaloutsiani mosque can be found in the area of the city with the same name. The now derelict “House Of the Archbishop”, located close to the football stadium, is the only old mansion that survived the fire of 1820. Some of the notable landmarks in the city centre also date from the late Ottoman period. The municipality clock tower,designed by local architect Periklis Meliritos, was erected in 1905 to celebrate the Jubilee of sultan Abdul Hamid II, and the adjacent to it building housing the VIII Division headquarters dates from the late 19th century. Some neoclassical buildings such the Post office, the old Zosimaia School, the Papazogleios Weaving School, and the former Commercial School date from the late Ottoman period as do a few arcades located in the old commercial centre of the city like Stoa Louli and Stoa Liampei. The churches of the Assumption of the Virgin at Perivleptos, Saint Nicholas of Kopanon and Saint Marina were rebuilt in the 1850s by funds from Nikolaos Zosimas and his brothers on the foundations of previous churches that perished in the great fire of 1820. The Cathedral of St Athanasius was completed in 1933. It was built on the foundations of the previous Orthodox Cathedral which was destroyed in the fires of 1820. It is a three-aisled basilica.







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